Board of Directors

Fiscal Year 2019-20

The Board of Directors are guardians of the mission of Breastfeeding USA and aim to build an effective and sustainable organization. They are responsible for establishing policies and practices that enhance the impact of Breastfeeding USA and strengthen the public’s confidence in the management of the organization. Contact the Board of Directors at [email protected].

President

Rebecca N.Ruhlen, PhD, IBCLC
2nd Board term: 2017-2020
Davidson, NC

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Rebecca is a sociocultural anthropologist (PhD 2007, U Washington) with research and teaching specialties in East Asia, social movements, gender, motherhood, and breastfeeding. She has done volunteer mother-to-mother breastfeeding support and advocacy since 2006, earned the IBCLC credential in 2010, and became a Breastfeeding USA Counselor in 2011. Rebecca helped develop our Breastfeeding Counselor application and training systems.
Rebecca teaches at Davidson College and opened a lactation consulting private practice in 2017.

Locally, she helps run the Lake Norman chapter of Breastfeeding USA and is active in her local Quaker Meeting. Rebecca has been married since 1995 and has a grown stepson, a soccer/piano-playing teenage son, and a former Shanghai alley cat named Calvin.

Second Board term: 2017-2020

Vice President

Jada Wright Nichols, MS, OTR/ L, IBCLC
Second Board term: 2019-2021
Memphis, TN

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Jada Wright Nichols is a maternal wellness consultant, helping new and expectant mothers remain healthy and happy through yoga, massage, nutrition, lactation support, and, postpartum doula services. She graduated from Tennessee State University and has a masters degree in occupational therapy. She is passionate about women's wellness across the life span, and serves on non-profit boards for birthworkers, breastfeeding, and breast cancer. She is a Breastfeeding Counselor in Memphis, TN where she lives with her husband and daughter, who all love exploring the outdoors.

Treasurer

Amie Rakosky Hood
First Board Term 2019-21
Indianapolis, IN

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Initial challenges with nursing her babies turned Amie into an advocate for other families. She just celebrated her 5th-anniversary volunteering as a Breastfeeding Counselor with Indy Breastfeeding Moms, an active Indianapolis Chapter. She offers home visits and dedicates many hours to online support but thrives on the community found with in-person Chapter meetings. On the national level, she served on the social media and ethics workgroups.

Amie lives in Indianapolis with her husband and three children. Her background is in music (violin performance and history) and community organizing. These days, she can be found homeschooling, gardening, and performing with a community orchestra.

Secretary

Tamika Harris, IBCLC, RLC
First Board term: 2018-2021
Alexandria, Virginia

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Tamika is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and WIC Breastfeeding Counselor. She is skilled in early childhood development, maternal-infant health and the science of human lactation. Tamika volunteers her time to teach breastfeeding classes to pregnant women and their families and leads a mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group. She is Co-Secretary of the D.C. Breastfeeding Coalition and a member of the National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color, the Virginia Breastfeeding Advisory Committee and Task Force, and the United States Breastfeeding Committee. Tamika is passionate about every woman and child’s right to breastfeed and is a staunch advocate for public policies that eliminate barriers to successful breastfeeding in the United States.

Director

Claire Barnett
Appointed Term 2019-20
San Antonio, TX

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Claire began her role in peer breastfeeding support after her first baby was born in 2012, and she discovered she was unable to produce enough milk and was ultimately diagnosed with insufficient glandular tissue. In the years since, while breastfeeding her own children into toddlerhood and beyond, she has dedicated herself to researching normal lactation and the causes of low milk supply and supporting other breastfeeding parents in their own journeys. In August 2017, Claire became a Breastfeeding Counselor and started the San Antonio chapter of Breastfeeding USA. Claire works in adult education, specializing in organizational training needs assessment and online training design for both federal government agencies and academic institutions. A recognized leader in her local community, she is an advocate for improved maternal-infant health, social equity and justice, and vulnerable populations. She has been an active volunteer in her church and city's refugee response efforts, working to support asylum-seeking families, including providing breastfeeding support and organizing resources to meet the needs of newly postpartum mothers. Claire lives in northern San Antonio with her husband, two daughters, and two retired greyhounds. She enjoys reading, cooking, and hiking on the rare cool days in South Texas.

Director

Beth Lichey, IBCLC, PhD
First Board Term 2019-21
Silver Spring, MD

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Beth is one of the founding members of Breastfeeding USA and served on the first Board of Directors. She currently leads a Breastfeeding USA Chapter in Montgomery County, MD. Beth serves on several Breastfeeding USA committees, and her work includes interviewing new applicants and grading a course module. Beth currently works as a hospital-based IBCLC. She is the VP of the Lactation Consultants Association of Greater Washington, a local chapter of USLCA.

Beth's background as a PhD researcher led her to a special interest in the amazing abundance of scientific studies surrounding breastfeeding and human milk. Her passion for helping breastfeeding families began years ago when she served as a La Leche League Leader.

Beth lives in a suburb of Washington, DC and enjoys spending time with her family, especially her two grandsons who live just a few blocks away. Beth is active in her synagogue community, enjoys reading and learning new things, and talking to other bereaved parents.

Director

Meredith Sinclair, PhD
First Board term: 2018-2021
New Haven, Connecticut

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Meredith is an assistant professor of secondary English education at Southern Connecticut State University; her research and teaching interests include anti-racist pedagogy, critical adolescent literacy, pre-service teacher education, and secondary English curriculum. Meredith became interested in breastfeeding, babywearing, and other parenting advocacy work shortly after the birth of her first child in 2008. She has worked as a volunteer babywearing educator and advocate on the local and national level and became a Breastfeeding USA Breastfeeding Counselor in 2014. Meredith is particularly interested in empowering mothers through education and in advocating for local and national policies that improve mothers’ work/life balance. She lives with her husband and four children.

Director

Aimee Teslaw, MA
First Board term: 2018-2021
Barrington, Illinois

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Aimee has been helping mothers and babies to breastfeed since 2010, and became a Breastfeeding USA Counselor in 2012. She serves two chapters of Breastfeeding USA in both Algonquin and Barrington, Illinois, and especially enjoys facilitating in-person mother-to-mother support. She has also served Breastfeeding USA in the Applications workgroup, the Grants workgroup, and most recently as the Chair of Funding and Development. She has experience writing, teaching writing, and working in corporate training.

Aimee makes a home in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with her husband, two children, and a dog, and where she volunteers at school and church. She is an adult student of guitar, and enjoys travel, being active, spending time outdoors, and reading contemporary fiction by women writers.

Director

Lauren Logan
Appointed Term: 2019-2020
Indianapolis, IN

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Finding a village in her local breastfeeding community, Lauren has been active in Indy Breastfeeding Moms since the birth of her daughter in 2012 and her son in 2017. She completed training as a breastfeeding counselor in 2016. Since then, she has served locally in Indianapolis and nationally in the Elections committee from 2016 - 2018.

During the day, Lauren is a Forensic Document Examiner for the Indiana State Police. Outside of work and Breastfeeding USA, she loves to garden, read, play board games, pet cats, sleep, spend time with family and friends, and wants to be a roller derby player with bright blue hair when she grows up.